This year the game took a new format. With the first annual Big 33 game to be played Saturday, the old format of playing a 2A/3A game as well as a 4A/5A game was out the window. Desert Ridge's Jeremy Hathcock coached the North squad while Marcos de Niza head man Roy Lopez coached the South.
The South squad jumped out early and never looked back. After forcing a North punt, South QB Ryan Stanford (Horizon) hit Martwon Weaver (Marcos) and Ian Juede (Shadow Mountain) twice for big gains. The second Stanford to Juede pass put the ball inside the 5 and it took just one play for Mike Contreras (Boulder Creek) to put the first points on the board after a short run. 7-0 South.
A North fumble was recovered by South d-lineman Tom DeVito (O'Connor) and it resulted in more points on the board. Stanford hit Weaver for a 19 yard gain and then found Drew Bond (Valley Christian) for a short TD pass. 14-0 South.
It looked like the South was going to make it a three TD lead after DB Danny Bishop (Valley Lutheran) intercepted a pass but Rulan Udall (Round Valley) not only got the ball back, he took it in for a score on an INT of his own.
The score was now 14-7 but this would be the North's only score of the night.
The South took a 21-7 lead into halftime after Stanford hit Contreras in the endzone with just a few ticks left on the clock.
Action was slow in the third quarter until Weaver woke up the crowd with a punt return to give the South a 28-7 lead headed into the fourth.
Devante Stokes (Maryvale) got the North within scoring distance late in the game after several big scrambles but a bad snapat the 14 yard line led to a turnover on downs which the South turned into points as Stanford hit Juede for a 50 yard TD.
Final 35-7 South.
Horizona QB Ryan Stanford had a great farewellbefore heading out to North Dakota State. He threw 3 TD passes to earn the player of the game honors. I also wanted to mention the performances of wide receivers Ian Juede and Martwon Weaver who played well and DE Cedric Simmons from Perry was unblockable.
Come out tomorrow and support the AZ players. Two games plus the passing league tournament out in Surprise. Kickoffto 1A game is at 10 AM. Az v. Cali Big 33 game is at 7 PM. Between therewill be over 30 teams in the 7 on 7 tournament.
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